Snakehead Gorgon chapters 5-14
Note From LynKa: Over the last year Xenia and I have become good internet friends, I have helped her in the past with her English. She lives in Germany and English is a second language. I have encouraged her to leave her story as she has written it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
After the sun begins rising, Perseus knocked on Xena's door.
"Xena, wake up. We have to go."
But Xena was already awake, up and in full armor. She opened the door, and could see that Perseus was amazed. She smiled.
"Well. I'm a early riser. I'm the opposite of Gabrielle. I think we will have trouble getting her out of bed. But I have my methods."
Perseus tried hard to supress a smile.
"I believe you. Let's go."
Xena went back in her room to get the things she would need. That wasn't very much. The most she needed she had already, her sword, her Chakram and her whip.
She didn't need much more. After that they went to Gabrielle. They stood before her door, and Xena knocked.
"Gabrielle, wake up. It's time to go. Perseus is waiting."
There was no response. Xena looked at Perseus, and knocked again.
"Gabrielle, wake up."
This time her voice was louder and determined. But there was no response. Now it was enough for Xena. She knocked again, or better said she hammered on the door.
"Gabrielle. Breakfast is ready."
Two seconds later, the door opened and Gabrielle looked at Xena.
"I'll be there directly. Hold a seat for me. I will get my boots on."
With these words she disappeared. Xena looked at Perseus. He looked amazed again.
"Is she always so fast putting on clothes?"
"No. Only if there is something to eat involved."
Xena stretched her head through the door and yelled to Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle, there is no breakfast."
Gabrielle stormed forward to Xena.
"What did you say?"
"There is no breakfast."
Gabrielle eyes went dark and dangerous. In her voice was a sound that says: Don't play with me.
"Why did you say that?"
Xena went in the room, while Gabrielle went to the direction of the bed. At the head of the bed she stopped, and waited for Xena's answer.
"I knocked two times on your door, but it seems you were still asleep. So there was no other way. And eating is always drawing you."
Xena crossed her arms at her chest and watched Gabrielle. Gabrielle stood with her back to Xena, so she couldn't see that Gabrielle had a pillow in her hands. Perseus looked at both and said then to Xena.
"I will go downstairs, and will prepare everything, so we can go. You will come soon?"
Xena turned around and nodded. That was the sign for Gabrielle. She threw the pillow and hit Xena on her head. She turned immediately and looked dangerously into Gabrielle's eyes.
"Could you tell me what that was for?"
While she said that she went slowly in Gabrielle's direction. Gabrielle went slightly back. The brightness in her eyes was very dangerous.
"You were mean. That was not fair."
In her voice was a little insecurity. She didn't know exactly what Xena had in her mind. Right before her Xena stopped. She looked deep in her eyes, and with one fingertip she traced along Gabrielle's jaw. Gabrielle trembled. But what she felt was not fear. Xena saw that, and felt a little happy. Could it be? Xena thought how soft Gabrielle's skin was. And she wondered if the rest of her body felt the same.
Quickly she cleared her thoughts and said.
"You will pay for it. Not now, but soon."
With these words she turned around and went outside. She closed the door behind her, and stopped at the wall. It was hard to surpress a smile.
Gabrielle was motionless. First because her warrior had touched her. And it felt so good. She laid a hand on the jaw that Xena had touched. And then she thought about what Xena said. Was that serious from her?
"Now I have been traveling for two years with Xena, and I still have problems telling when Xena is serious and when not."
A deep sigh came from her throat and then she also gripped her things and went downstairs and saw Xena and Perseus sitting on their horses. Xena held her hand out and said.
"Today you have to ride. We're in a hurry, and it is better if we ride as fast as we could. So mount up, and no arguing."
Again a sigh.
"Alright. I will mount up."
Gabrille gripped her things in Argo's saddlebags and mounted. She had a bad feeling. She never had when she has to ride. And besides she was hungry.
"Xena, I'm hungry. Is there really no breakfast?"
Xena turned in Argo's saddle and looked at Gabrielle.
"In the right saddlebag is some dried meat and bread. We don't have time to make breakfast. That means you have to eat while we're riding."
Gabrielles eyes widened. Was that really serious? But the sound in Xena's voice said her that she was serious. So she searched in Argo's saddlebags and took something out to eat. While Xena urged Argo on, Gabrielle was eating. It wasn't so comfortable, but it was better than nothing to eat. After she finished, Xena turned again in her saddle to look at Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle, it's going to be rough now. I have to gallop very fast, if we want to make it today to the three greys. So hold tight on me."
Gabrielle thought "You don't have to tell me twice, my warrior". She nodded, and crossed her hands at Xena's waist. As Xena felt Gabrielle's hands on her waist, her heart did it's best to hammer way out of her chest. She took some deep breaths until her heart beat normally again. Gabrielle trembled and thought how good it felt to hold her warrior, and that she wanted so much more. She cleared her thoughts and held her warrior even tighter. Xena clicked her tongue and Argo went in a steady gallop. Perseus did the same, and so the three went in the direction of the three greys.
A half day went away since our three friends were on their way. Suddenly Xena stopped before a forest.
"In this forest the three greys live in a cave. The whole forest is morast. I think it is better if we dismount and go by foot. So it is easier for me to find a safe way. Perseus I want you to go exactly behind Gabrielle and me. Because I don't want to have trouble here. But I think it's not difficult to find the right way. Let's go."
Perseus nodded. He dismounted, and waited until Xena helped Gabrielle down. Gabrielle could feel every bone in her body, but especially her butt. With a face showing pain she stroked her butt.
"Oh Xena. Is this the revenge you promised me?"
Xena looked at Gabrielle and said smiling.
"Maybe yes, maybe no."
She looked deep in Gabrielle's eyes and than she put an arm around her shoulder. Xena thought "Oh Gods she feel so good, and her hair is smelling like a field of strawberries." Gabrielle laid an arm around Xena's waist and looked in her eyes. She thought she could get lost in the blue of her eyes. So they stood there what seems an eternity but it was only long moments. Perseus saw that all and said to himself "Tonight I will talk to you Xena. You can't go on like this. Everyone can see that you love her more than your life, and Gabrielle loves you. You were never the shy type. I will help you." Xena then broke the silence.
"Come on. We have a long way to go."
Gabrielle smiled. She looked over to Perseus.
"Everything all right with you? Are you ready?"
"I'm just waiting for you."
Xena looked over to Perseus, too.
"So let's go."
But it wasn't so easy like Xena thought. It was very difficult to find a way that could hold our three friends and their horses. Partly they stood to the knees in the mud. But they never gave up. All three were very exhausted, because it was very strenuous to get out of the mud. Gabrielle panted terribly, and even Perseus was out of breath. Only Xena seemed to have energy. She stopped and looked at her two friends.
"Everything all right with you, or do you want to take a break?"
Perseus and Gabrielle shook their heads. With one voice they said.
"No. It's all right. Go ahead."
Xena nodded and smiled at both. After that she turned and went again on her way. Gabrielle followed her. Perseus pulled on the reins of his horse and tried to go. But something was wrong. He turned around and his eyes went wide. He didn't notice that his horse went a step to the right side, and there was a mudhole with driftsand. Perseus' horse was up to the belly in the mudhole and was neighing. Perseus turned around and yelled after Xena. She turned around as quick as lightning and ran to Perseus. Gabrielle was already there and helped Perseus to pull on his horse reins. Xena also helped and all three tried to pull the horse out. But it was senseless. After a while you could only see the head of the horse. Xena looked at Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle. I want you to go to Argo and watch after her."
Gabrielle tried to protest, but as she noticed what Xena had in her mind, she decided to follow Xena's advice. Xena looked after her. After that she turned to Perseus.
"You can see that there is no chance to get him out. And I don't want the horse to suffer. So I will make an end."
She pulled her sword out of her sheath and want to make the final move, as Perseus laid a hand on her shoulder.
"Xena. It is my horse so it is my task. Go to Gabrielle. I'll be there soon."
Xena nodded and went to Gabrielle. Perseus went to his horse and pulled his sword out of it's sheath.
"My good Pantos. You served loyally for many years. And I loved you. And because of that I will help you that you don't have to suffer. Some day we will see each other again. Good bye my friend."
With these words he braced for the decisive hit. With one hit the horse was dead, his pain over. Pantos stood a while there, after his horse sank in. He cried. His horse was a loyal and devoted friend. And now he lost it. His thoughts went away to Andromeda. He hoped he could save her. He wiped his tears away from his eyes and went then to Xena. She laid a hand on his shoulder and looked him deep in his eyes. Perseus just nodded. Gabrielle went to Perseus too and said.
"I'm sorry. I wished we had saved him."
Perseus took Gabrielles hand and squeezed it. He couldn't say anything. His pain was too big. Xena looked again at Perseus and nodded. It was time to move on. She looked at Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle it is time. There is only a half hour left til dark, and than I don't want to move on. Is everything all right with you?"
Gabrielle nodded. And again our three friends were on their way. The next half hour wasn't very easy. Gabrielle thought it was worst than the half hour before. But she was just exhausted. She just wanted to lay down and sleep. She wasn't hungry. That should mean something. Shortly before it was dark Xena found a spot which seemed to be totally dry. She looked around but couldn't see any danger. She decided to make a stop to make camp. She turned and looked at Gabrielle and Perseus.
"It is too dark now to move on. I think it is better if we make camp here tonight. And tomorrow when the sun is rising we will move on. What do you think?"
Perseus and Gabrielle looked at each other and again they said.
After Xena collected some firewood, and a little fire was burning, Gabrielle became very hungry. She took some meat of the saddlebag and some bread. With enjoyment she ate. Perseus and Xena talked with each other. Gabrielle noticed that she was very tired after the eating. She looked with sleepy eyes to Xena.
"I think I will go to bed now. I'm so tired I can't think straight, and everything hurts. Good night Xena. Good night Perseus."
Perseus wished her a good night too. He was very tired too, but he had to talk to Xena. Something was bothering him. So he waited until Gabrielle was asleep. But he didn't have to wait long. After two minutes she was asleep. Than he looked to Xena.
"Xena, we have to talk."
Xena nodded and looked Perseus in his eyes.
That was everything she said. Perseus sat down beside her.
"As you talked yesterday about the three greys, I was scared. I heard from them. Xena they are dangerous. That's why I didn't go to them. They eat human. How will you solve this problem?"
Xena looked at him and smiled. It was that victorious smile.
"Just wait Perseus. I have a plan. Just let me handle that."
Perseus looked at her and said.
"And what about Gabrielle?"
Xena looked deep in his eyes.
"What about her? Come on Xena. You can't hide your feelings very well. Especially from me. You love her, right?"
Xena broke the eye contact and stared at the ground.
"Yes. You are right. I love her. With all my heart. I couldn't stand it to lose her."
Perseus took his hand to Xena's jaw and pulled her up.
"Why didn't you say it to her?"
In Xena's eyes you could see tears.
"Because I'm afraid. Until now I lose everyone I loved. I don't want to lose her too. And I don't know if I would scare her away if I tell her my feelings."
Perseus looked her deep in the eyes.
"I think Gabrielle can take care of herself very good. And you will never find out if she has the same feelings for you if you don't tell her."
Xena's eyes went dark and cold. She knew that Perseus was right. But she didn't want to confess it. So she said with a dangerous sound in her voice.
"That is not your business. If I decided that I and Gabrielle are just friends, that's my decision. And don't even think about to play the god of love. Leave me alone. That's my problem, and I can handle it."
Perseus knew he couldn't talk with Xena further. So he just nodded and decided to go to bed too. He was asleep after minutes. Only Xena was awake and thought about the talk she just had minutes before. She knew she can't go on like this. It would destroy her just to be near the person she loved without being able to touch her. She had to tell her about her feelings. After some moments her thoughts changed and she thought about the plan she had for the three greys. As she knew what to do she went to her blanket and laid down for sleep. She would need her whole engery tomorrow.
Gabrielle turned onto her side to look at Xena. She wasn't asleep. She heard the whole talk between Xena and Perseus. And she felt so happy as Xena confessed that she loved her. But she decided to wait until Xena would confess her feelings in front of her. If she would do it.
"Maybe I have to talk to her a little. Give her a little help. I love you too, my warrior. Sleep well."
With these words she closed her eyes and fall asleep.
This time Xena woke up first. But she decided to let the others sleep, because it was very early. Gabrielle and Perseus were falling asleep yesterday very exhausted. Xena walked over to where Gabrielle slept, and knelt down. She stroked Gabrielle's hair and gave her a light kiss on the forehead.
"If I only knew that you feel the same way about me like I feel about you."
She looked a little longer into the wonderful sleeping face, than she took her sword and headed for the forest. She wanted to practice. After some minutes she found another clear spot, which was perfect for her practicing.
Gabrielle wasn't asleep. She heard everything Xena said. After Xena disappeared in the forest she stood. She looked at Perseus. He looked so sad even in his sleep. She could feel his anxiety. She swore on her life, that she will do anything to help him. Then she looked at the forest again, and heard the words that Xena told her shortly before.
"Now it is enough, my warrior princess. If you don't come to me, I will come to you."
She breathed deeply and than walked slowly in the direction Xena had gone. Perseus wasn't asleep either. He heard what Xena and Gabrielle said.
"Yes Gabrielle. Go. Go where you belong. I wish you good luck."
With this words he turned around and fell asleep again.
Gabrielle headed towards the noises she heard. She knew these noises so well. The crashing of a sword in a tree. Then the familiar warcry. Oh gods, how she loved it.
As she saw the clear spot, she also saw the woman she loved. She saw the graceful movements when she turned her sword, saw the muscular arms and legs she longed to touch. She saw the light sweat pearls on Xenas forehead, saw those delicious lips and the eyes she wanted to sink in for the rest of her life. Gabrielle thought about how she could tell Xena how she felt, as Xena said.
"Good morning, sleepyhead. Did you sleep well?"
Gabrielle nodded and went in the direction of Xena. Xena smiled and also went forward. But as she saw the determined look on Gabrielles face, her smile faded.
"Gabrielle, is everthing all right?"
"Xena, we have to talk."
Xena nodded and pointed to a spot on the ground, which was covered with soft moss. She wondered what was bothering Gabrielle. But she knew Gabrielle would tell her. As they sat down, both were quiet. At last Gabrielle spoke.
"Xena, why aren't you honest with me?"
Xena turned her head and looked at Gabrielle's face puzzled.
"I don't know what your're talking about."
Gabrielle turned her face, too and so their faces were just inches apart. Xena could feel Gabrielle's breath on her skin, and shivered. Gabrielle looked deep in Xena's eyes.
"I heard everything you said this morning and the talk you had with Perseus.
So don't lie to me. Why didn't you tell me how you feel. Is it the feeling that you don't deserve to be happy, or were you scared that I would run away?"
Xena bowed her head and just said.
Gabrielle shooked her head.
"And you want to be a warrior? How will you get something in your life, if you don't risk something?"
Xena head went up and she looked in Gabrielle's eyes.
"I don't wanted to lose you. Not again. As you died in the Thessalien temple, I had the feeling my heart was cut out. And in this moment I realized how much I love you. As you came back I was so happy, so I decided to hold my feelings back. If the only thing we could have was our friendship it has to be enough for me. I couldn't stand it, if I would lose you again."
Xena bowed her head again, to hide the tears welling up in her eyes. Gabrielle felt so happy, but she knew she had to start slowly. She laid a hand on Xena's shoulder and the other hand came up to Xena's jaw to turn her face towards her. She saw the tears streaming down Xena's face, and a hunger for this woman began to start in her. She slowly came nearer Xena's face, and then her lips touched the tears. Xena closed her eyes at the feeling of Gabrielles lips on her skin. Gabrielle kissed all her tears away. As no tears were seen, she pulled back, and Xena saw the look on Gabrielles face. The look showed love, desire and tenderness. Xena laid a hand on Gabrielles neck and pulled her closer, she wanted nothing more than to feel those lips on her. But Gabrielle held her hand up to stop Xena. Xena stopped and wondered. Gabrielle said.
"No. Please. I want to tell you something first. As you talked with Perseus I felt so happy. I never thought that you felt the same way like I do. I fell in love with you the first moment I saw you. I guess the first time it was just a enthusiasm because of the strong woman I traveled with. But after we traveled together and I knew you better, I really fell in love with you. Than Perdicus came. I know I didn't love him the way I loved you. But you showed no signs that you loved me, and I decided to stay with him, because I thought it was right. I needed the seperation. I thought my feelings for you would disappear or maybe lighten, but the opposite happened. I loved you more. After Perdicus died I was sad, he was a great friend but I wanted to travel with you again. I wanted to be with you again. So I did the same like you. I hid my feelings for you. Oh Xena all the time we wasted. I love you, too. With all my heart."
The women looked at each other. But no one could say a word. Xena looked deep in Gabrielle's eyes. Slowly she put a finger on Gabrielle's jaw and traced the outline with it. As her hand rested under her chin, she pulled Gabrielle closer to her.
"I love you, too."
She whispered to Gabrielle, and than their lips touched. It was a feeling Xena had never felt. She put her hands on Gabrielle's waist. Gabrielle twined her fingers in Xena's hair.
Xena traced the outline of Gabrielle's mouth with her tongue. She thought she never felt something so soft before. Gabrielle moaned at the contact. Slowly she opened her mouth to allow Xena access. Their tongues touched. Xena moaned at the feeling of Gabrielle's tongue against her own. She deepened the kiss, and lost herself in the sensation of the kiss. The kiss was long, slow and sweet. Slowly Xena broke the kiss, and traveled down to Gabrielle's neck. She nipped at the white soft skin. Gabrielle raised her chin to gave her warrior better access, and pulled Xena closer to her. Xena kissed Gabrielle's neck from one side to the other and stopped at her ear. She sucked on Gabrielle's earlobe. Gabrielle moaned deep in her throat. Xena whispered.
"Do you know how much I love you? You taste so good, but I want to taste you everywhere."
Gabrielle let out a sigh that was full of passion. But suddenly she pulled back. Xena looked puzzled.
"Gabrielle, did I hurt you?"
Gabrielle shook her head.
"No. Everything is fine my love. But you have a lot to do today, so it's better if you have your whole energy. Believe me, I want it too. But it's better if we wait until tonight."
She kissed Xena deeply. Than she broke the kiss. Xena laid a hand on Gabrielle's cheek. Gabrielle turned so she could kiss the palm, and then she laid her head in Xena's hand. Xena smiled.
"Yes. You are right. But I will come tonight. I swear it."
"I count on it."
Xena smiled and kissed Gabrielle again. She couldn't get enough from Gabrielle's lips. As she began to deepen the kiss suddenly Gabrielle's stomach began to grumble. They broke the kiss and looked down at the same time. Then they began to laugh. Gabrielle said.
"I guess it is time for breakfast."
"Yes. I guess so. I will hunt us something. Go back to Perseus and start the fire again, please."
Gabrielle nodded. Xena gave her a quick kiss and started to run away. But Gabrielle held her back. She laid Xena's hands on her waist, and her hands went around Xena's neck.
"Don't even think about going without kissing me right."
Xena smiled and pulled Gabrielle closer to her. She kissed Gabrielle again. She opened her lips and Gabrielle followed her guide. Their tongues touched again. Slowly they explored each other mouths. Xena broke the kiss, but not without giving Gabrielle small kisses on the her lips. Gabrielle swallowed.
"That works for me."
Xena smiled again.
"For me too. I love you."
Gabrielle gave her a little kiss and said.
"I love you too. But now go, before I never let you go."
Xena smiled and then went in the direction, where the forest was deep. Gabrielle put a finger on her lips and remembered the feeling of Xena's lips. She smiled and then went back to the camp.
As Gabrielle arrived on the camp, she saw that Perseus was still sleeping. She walked over to the fire and started it again. After that she went to a little stream which flowed 20 steps from their camp. She filled the little kettle and returned to hand it over the fire. Than she went to Argo's saddle that was laying on the ground. In the right saddlebag she found some herbs, that Xena liked to have for tea. She found enough for all three, returned and placed the herbs in the hot water. Her stomach grumbled again. She hoped Xena would return fast with food. As the smell of the cooked herbs filled the air, Perseus woked up. He looked around, as if he didn't know where he was. But then he rememberd and his eyes went dark with sadness. Gabrielle looked at him and decided to cheer him up a little.
"Good morning, sleepyhead. Do you sleep well?"
Perseus turned his head to Gabrielle and smiled. Again Gabrielle did it.
"Good morning Gabrielle. Yes. I slept well. Like a stone to be honest. And you?"
Gabrielle made a face, looked down and mumbled.
"On a stone. Thanks for the question."
Perseus began to laugh loudly. Gabrielle looked at him and had to laugh too.
"Hey. What happened here? Did I miss something?"
Xena's voice was barely heard through the laughter of Perseus and Gabrielle. Xena walked over to Gabrielle, took her in her arms and kissed her deeply. Perseus looked away. Hedidn't want to disturb the closeness of the lovers. After some moments Xena broke away.
"I missed you."
Gabrielles eyebrows shot up.
"What? But you saw me 10 minutes ago."
"That's too much for me."
Gabrielle flushed and smiled. Than Xena sat down, and took Gabrielle with her. Gabrielle sat on Xena's lap. Xena's arms were around Gabrielle's waist.
"So. Do you want to tell me, what happened?"
Perseus told Xena what happened. Xena looked at Gabrielle and after some seconds she started laughing too.
"That's nothing new for Gabrielle. It seems she likes to sleep on stones."
Gabrielle looked down at Xena and just said.
"Ha,ha. Very funny."
Xena took Gabrielle's face in her hands and pulled her gently down for a kiss.
"I'm sorry. I didn't want to tease you."
But Gabrielle couldn't supress the smile that built on her lips. After seconds she started to laugh. As she told Xena that she laughed because of the joke of Xena, all three started to laugh again. As all three slowly calmed down, Perseus looked at both and just said.
"I wish you good luck. You two belong really together. I'm happy for you both."
Xena and Gabrielle looked at Perseus and both said.
Perseus swallowed and said.
"Enough of the sensitive chat. I'm hungry. What about you?"
Xena raised her eyebrows and turned her face to Gabrielle.
"Well, my love. Are you hungry?"
Gabrielle raised her eyebrows too.
"What a question."
Xena laughed again. Gabrielle was always hungry. Her stomach seem to have a big black hole that could never be filled. Xena had killed two rabbits, and wanted to skin them. She stood and walked over to a stone where she could do her work. She looked at Gabrielle, knowing that she didn't like it.
"Gabrielle, don't you want to practice with your staff, while I finish the rabbits?"
Gabrielle was happy about the suggestion. She just nodded, and took her staff. But Xena held her back.
"In the forest is a clear spot. There you can practice. But be careful."
Gabrille sighed about the last words. When was she not careful? But she knew if she would ask Xena she would get hundreds of answers. And that was something she didn't want right now, so she just said.
"As you remember, I was on this clear spot in the morning, and I will be careful. I promise."
Xena nodded and Gabrielle went into the forest. That was the right time for Perseus to ask Xena about the plan. Maybe this time he would have more luck. Xena was in a really good mood. He sat down beside Xena. Perseus breathed deeply and started.
"Xena, how do you want to make it, that the three grays will tell you how we could help Andromeda?"
Xena raised her head and put her dagger down, she used to skin the rabbit. She looked at Perseus and spoke.
"I've heard that these three old women have only one eye and one tooth. Without these things they would starve to death. If someone could steal those things, I'm pretty damned sure that they would say anything to get them back."
"And this someone is you, right Xena?"
"Yes. You are right. This someone is gonna to be me. When I get those things, I will throw them to you, and then you can ask them."
Perseus had to smile, too. Xena was a good strategist. But as he thought about it, his face went dark.
"Xena, I've heared that the three women are very fast, though tough, they are old, and they use magic. I beg you to be careful. I don't want that something is happen to you."
Xena smiled again.
"You know, I'm very fast too, and I know I can face it. Trust me, Perseus."
Xena turned her head and started to skin the rabbit again. That was the sign for Perseus that the talk was finished. He sighed deeply, and stood to get some tea.
After a half hour, Gabrielle returned. She couldn't pracitce longer if she wanted, because the smell of the roasted rabbit got in her nose. So she packed her staff and ran to Xena. She kissed her quickly and than got to the rabbit. Perseus couldn't look fast enough, as the half of the rabbit was gone. He shooked his head and wondered, where Gabrielle put this all in. Xena looked at Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle. It would be nice, if you would leave something from the rabbit. Perseus and I are hungry, too you know?"
Gabrielle looked up from her meal and said.
"Fure. Take mat shu mant."
Xena raised an eyebrow. Perseus has to laugh again. Xena looked at Perseus and started to laughing too. As they calm down she said.
"Take a little less in your mouth, maybe we can understand you better then."
Gabrielle swallowed a big bite and said.
"I said, sure take what you want."
Xena and Perseus thanked Gabrielle and took something from the rabbit. After they were finished they decided to break up camp and leave. There were only eight days left, until the seamonster came to kill Andromeda.
It was early afternoon, as our three friends arrived at the cave of the three greys. Xena stopped directly in front of the cave and said.
"All right. Let's go."
Xena saw the worried look on Gabrielle's face and went to her. She laid her hands on her shoulders.
"I promise to be careful. Nothing will happen to me. I love you."
Gabrielle laid her head on Xena's chest and took a much needed breath.
"Yeah. I know you will be all right. I love you too."
Xena smiled and laid her hand under Gabrielle's chin to lift it up. As she saw deep in Gabrielle's eyes she felt a hunger start. She leaned forward and kissed Gabrielle deeply.
Gabrielle returned the kiss and placed her hands around Xena's waist to pull her close. Perseus didn't want to disturb so he turned away and looked at the blue sky.
Finally Xena broke the kiss, and breathed deeply.
"That was only a foretaste, for what is coming tonight."
Gabrielle flushed and smiled.
"I can hardly wait for the rest."
Xena gave her a final peck on the lips and turned so she could look at Perseus.
"Perseus, are you ready?"
Perseus turned and said.
"Only waiting for you."
Xena smiled and let Gabrielle go.
"All right. Let's have fun."
Xena went in the direction of the entrance of the cave. Perseus and Gabrielle nodded, and followed Xena. Xena looked inside, but could see nothing, because it was real dark. She decided to go deeper in the cave, as three voices said.
"Xena, Perseus and Gabrielle. Please come in, we have been waiting for you."
Perseus and Gabrielle were terribly scared. But after some seconds they calmed down, and followed Xena, going deeper in the cave. A little path led the way to the inside of the cave. At the end of the path you could saw a little light shining. Xena's eyes got used to this kind of dark in a hurry, but Gabrielle and Perseus had their problems.
In the inside of the cave you saw a big pot, which was hanging over the fire, and some soup was cooking in it. Xena thought, she don't want to know what kind of soup was cooking there. She turned to see where the three old women were.
"We are here, right in front of you, Xena."
The voice sounded very old, and breaking. Xena turned around, and suddenly she saw behind the pot the three women. The woman who stood in the middle held something on her forehead. The two others seemed to be very nervous. Xena recognized that no one had eyes. The women on the right side said.
"Who's got the eye?"
"I have it" said the woman in the middle. "Look at these three shapes. One as pitiful as the other. The mortals are all the same."
Xena looked at the eye. It looks like a crystal ball, about the height of an apple. Xena wondered how that happened. Suddenly Perseus went forward, and stood before Xena. His patience seemed at the end.
"My name is Perseus. I'm asking you for a favour, and if you don't want to hear me, I will use force."
Xena hissed at him to be quiet, but he didn't hear her.
Xena took a step to the side, so she stood a considerable distance to the right of Perseus and Gabrielle. Perseus didn't stop talking.
"Well. What now? Do you want to help me, or not?"
The woman on the left side, took a step forward, and began to snoop.
"Oh sisters. He smells good. I'm sure he would be a great dinner."
All three began to laugh. After they calmed down the woman in the middle said.
"We would like to help you. But even we don't work for nothing."
Xena knew, what was coming now, and she pulled out her sword, ready for an attack. But she noticed that no one of the sisters looked at her. She thought about why. It couldn't be that the three sisters only looked at Perseus, because they also got Gabrielle in their field of vision. Nor were they deaf. Xena lifted her hand and waved to the left and to the right. But there was no reaction again. Than Xena got a idea. The eye had a dead angle. If you stood wide right or left of the reach of the eye, the sisters couldn't see you anymore. That was the chance to get the eye. She waved to Perseus. As he turned just his eyes to her, she whispered.
"Listen to me. Talk with the three sisters. The eye has a dead angle. After the three were blind, I'm sure the eye is more important to them than the teeth. It is enough if I'm stealing the eye. But you have to keep them busy, so I can go unhindered to them. Do you understand?"
Perseus nodded slightly, and turned his gaze to the three sisters again.
"Good. What do you want? Money, power? Come on, tell me."
While he was saying that, Xena crawled slowly in the direction of the three woman. She didn't make a noise. As she almost arrived at her goal, she thought she had to be very careful, that she didn't came into the reach of the eye.
Gabrielle was nervous. She was thinking about running to help Xena. But she knew it would be a mistake. So she decided to wait.
In the meantime the woman on the right caught the eye, and turned to Perseus.
"You want to know what we want? We want her."
And with her bony fingers she pointed to Gabrielle. Xena turned suddenly to Gabrielle and looked at her. Gabrielle was pale. Xena was angry. Her eyes went wide and she breathed deeply. Perseus looked at her and just nodded his head. Xena understood.
Perseus laid a hand on Gabrielle's shoulder and smiled at her. Then he spoke to the three woman.
"You will never get Gabrielle. Sooner I will kill you three old crows."
The three woman laughed again. Then the woman in the middle said.
"Well. If we don't can have her, we will take the warrior princess. She has more flesh on her bones."
The woman turned around and looked at her sister with the eye.
"Where is Xena? Do you see her?"
The woman with the eye said.
"No. I couldn't see her. Where is she?"
Xena was right behind the women. She pulled her sword from it's sheath, pulled her hand forward and said.
"I'm right here. If you don't see me, maybe you need another eye. And apparently you don't need it anymore, so I will take the old."
With this words she tore the eye from the woman's hand. As fast as she could she ran to Perseus. The three women screamed from the loss of their eye. The woman on the left raised her hand, and made a fist. The fist seemed to glow. It was magic. Perseus screamed to Xena.
"Xena, behind you."
Xena turned around, but it was too late. A unbelievable blazing fire beam hit Xena right in the chest and catapulted her at the wall. She lost the eye. It was flying high through the air. Perseus caught it before it was fell to the ground. Gabrielle screamed Xena's name and ran after her. Xena was unconsciousness. Gabrielle took her in her arms and whispered her name. She took Xena's head in her lap and stroked her hair.
Perseus looked at them and became furious.
"Stop it. Do you want to risk, to loose your eye finally? You are blind. I have the eye. If you don't want to help me, I will let it fall to the ground. I'm ready to give it back to you, if you help me."
The three woman screamed again, but this time because of anger. They were so careless, and let them steal their eye. But they lost. The woman in the middle sighed and said.
"All right. I will help you. I know your story, and now you want to know how you can defeat the seamonster."
Perseus nodded. The woman said.
"With normal ways you can't defeat him. There is only one way you can defeat him. You need the head of Medusa."
Perseus and Gabrielle breathed deeply. That was a suicide mission. Perseus looked at Gabrielle then back to the three grey's.
"But they say that Medusa is not vulnerable. How can I kill her. I can't even look in her eyes without turning to stone."
The woman in the middle said.
"You are right. With your weapons you can't kill her. But there is a sword and a shield that will help you. But you will not find it here."
Perseus waited for a hearbeat. But as no one of the sisters spoke again, he asked.
"Well. Where can I find those weapons, and what's so special at them?"
Like one mouth, all three sisters said.
"First give us the eye, than we will help you."
Perseus shook his head.
"Either you answer my question, or I will throw the eye at the wall. So you would be blind for eternity. How would you like that?"
Gabrielle was surprised of the bravery of Perseus. What love could do.
The three sisters were furious. The woman on the right said.
"The weapons were forged by Hephaistos. They are from a metal no human being had ever seen. The weapons are protected by the three nymphs. They live about a day's ride in the north. But they are hard to find because they are very shy, and at danger they become invisible. You will never find them."
Perseus was angry, as the three grey's began laughing. But they calmed down fast. The one in the middle said.
"That's all we can tell you. Give us the eye back."
Perseus smiled and threw the eye to the ground.
"Here find it for yourself. Thanks for the help."
Than he turned and went to Xena, which was still unconscious. He lifted her over his shoulder and then they went outside. As they were outside they hear the three greys cursing about Perseus.
As Gabrielle and Perseus took a much needed breath, they heard Xena sigh.
Perseus immediately laid Xena on the ground. Gabrielle took Xena's head again in her lap and said.
"Can you hear me, Xena? Talk to me."
After some seconds Xena opened her eyes. She smiled and laid a hand on Gabrielle's face.
"Yes I can hear you. I'm all right. Just have a terrible headache."
Gabrielle felt tears welling up in her eyes and she leaned down to kiss Xena.
Xena placed her hands on Gabrielle's neck and pulled her closer. After she broke the kiss she said.
"Well, I think my headache is gone. Thank you my love."
Gabrielle smiled. She helped Xena to get up. She asked Perseus what the three greys said, and after Perseus told her everything she said.
"The swamp is ending. The way to north is free. I think we should travel the whole night. So we are sooner to the three nymphes. We could make some torches to find our way. What do you think about it?"
Perseus and Gabrielle nodded. But Gabrielle was a little sad. She thought that Xena wanted to make love to her in the evening. But on the other hand she understood her. She wanted to help Perseus. Even if that meant holding back their feelings. Time was running through their hands. Gabrielle thought no one noticed the look. But Xena did. Xena said nothing, just smiled. She thought.
"Gabrielle you know we will take breaks. And then...."
The last words she let trailed off. Xena said.
"All right. Let's go."
Xena just got to her horse and after that the three were on their way.
They were wandering for about three hours. It was so dark, you couldn't see a hand in front of you. The torches they made didn't light the whole way. After all three burned down, Xena turned and said.
"We have to make new torches to light the way. Than we have to go on. You both are all right?"
Gabrielle nodded. Even if it was a lie. She felt terrible. She was freezing, hungry and tired. But she knew that they had to go on.
Perseus looked at Gabrielle and said then.
"Xena, if you don't mind, I'm exhausted. I think I can use a break. I also can use sleep for two hours. So what do you think if we sit down and rest for a while?"
Xena nodded, and Gabrielle thanked Perseus in her thoughts. So they sat down where they were. Perseus sighed and streched his legs.
"Oh. That feels good. How about something to eat? I'm hungry."
Gabrielle nodded and said.
"Yeah, that would be great. I'm also hungry."
Xena smiled again.
"All right, all right. I will hunt something for us. Wait there for me. I'll be right back."
With that she turned away and went deep in the forest. Her eyes were good enough to find the way in the dark. As she was away, Gabrielle thought about the promise. Perseus looked at her.
"What are you waiting for? Go. Go to her. I can wait. I'm not that hungry."
"You planned that all right? You are not as exhausted and neither are you hungry."
She wanted to say something but just said.
Perseus nodded and went to get some wood for a fire. Gabrielle stood immediately and went in the direction Xena had taken. Xena was fast, but Gabrielle know where to search. She had a good teacher, and she could read the footprints of Xena. And then she found her. Xena was standing behind a tree waiting for a rabbit to come. Gabrielle smiled and walked to her. Xena heard her, but decided to do nothing. As Gabrielle was behind her, she laid her arms around Xena's waist and her head on her back. Xena put her hands on Gabrielle's and said.
"Mmmh. That feels good."
Gabrielle smiled and said.
"I just came to remind you of your promise."
Xena turned around to face her.
"I didn't forget it."
With this she leaned forward and kissed Gabrielle. Forgotten was the hunger for eating. Another hunger started in Gabrielle. A hunger for this woman in front of her.
She left her hands on Xena's waist and pulled her closer. Xena moaned and put her hands on Gabrielle's neck. Xena opened her lips and traced the outline of Gabrielle's mouth with her tongue. She thought that she never felt something wonderful like that before. Gabrielle opened her lips too, and ever so slowly Xena put her tongue in Gabrielle's mouth. She explored every inch of her mouth, and as she felt Gabrielle's tongue playing with hers she moaned deeply, as did Gabrielle. Gabrielle felt her knees went weak and broke the kiss, much to the dismay of Xena.
"What is it? Is everything all right?"
Gabrielle smiled and kissed her again.
"Yes. But my knees can't hold my weight any longer."
Xena smiled and again she kissed her deeply. While Xena kissed her, she lifted Gabrielle into her arms and went to a spot which was covered with soft moss. Without breaking the kiss, she placed Gabrielle gently on the ground and laid on top of her. Only than she did break the kiss.
"Gabrielle, I've wanted this for so long. If you don't want it, please tell me right now, because once we begin, I won't be able to stop."
She looked deep in her lover's eyes and waited for an answer. But Gabrielle just took Xena's face in her hands and kissed her. That was the answer for Xena. She kissed Gabrielle back with a passion she never noticed she had. Xena broke the kiss and went to Gabrielle's jaws and to her neck. Gabrielle loved to be kissed on the neck by Xena. She felt her warm breath caressing her skin and gentle lips kiss her. That sent shock waves through her. She moaned deep in her throat and put her hands on Xena's head to pull her close. Xena found the spot, where her pulse is beating with the same rythym as the heart and trailed her lips and tongue over it. Gabrielle felt as if she would explode, if Xena did not stop. Xena pressed herself onto Gabrielle. With a gentle nudge of her knee, she spread Gabrielle's thighs apart and laid herself between her legs.
She moaned as she felt Gabrielle pulling her closer with her legs. She kissed her way to Gabrielle's ear and whispered.
"I love you so much, my bard. I want to feel you everywhere."
Gabrielle couldn't say anything, so she just growled. Xena looked in Gabrielles eyes and kissed her again. The kiss was gentle and sweet and long. There was no hurry in it.
Gabrielle ran her hands up and down Xena's back, as she realized that there were still clothes in the way.
"If you want to feel me you have to take off my clothes."
And she smiled cheekily. Slowly Xena leaned down and lightly brushed her lips as she said.
"Let's see how long they will be in the way."
Than she kissed her again. Without breaking the kiss, she let her free hand wander to Gabrielle's top, and loosen the ties. As she brushed Gabrielle's breast with her hand through her top, she felt the nipples harden under the carressing. Xena moaned in Gabrielle's mouth. Than she felt Gabrielle's hands on her armor. She just moved slightly, so Gabrielle was in easy reach for the ties. As the leather and the top were loosened, Xena pulled Gabrielle up and then they removed their clothes. Xena looked at Gabrielle.
"Oh gods, Gabrielle you are wonderful."
Gabrielle just smiled. Than she looked at this wonderful woman, who had stolen her heart. She looked at the strong muscles on her abdomen, on her arms her shoulders. Everywhere.
"So are you. Come here."
Gabrielle laid back and Xena followed her. She took the place on top of Gabrielle again. Then she moaned loud. The feel of Gabrielle's skin on her drove her crazy. She kissed Gabrielle deeply. This time no armor were in the way as she ran her hand down Xena's back. She opened her thighs to let the warrior lay between them. As she felt Xena pressing herself on her she moaned. Never she felt something soft like this. Xena moved to her neck and kissed and nibbled on it. And gently she began to move her hips.
"Oh Gabrielle you're driving me crazy."
Xena's voice was husky. Her breath came in gasps. So did Gabrielle's. She felt Xena's sex everytime she stroked her. Xena kissed her way down to Gabrielles breast's. With a tenderness born of true love, she kissed the nipple. Than she took the nipple in her warm mouth and sucked gently on it. Gabrielle whispered Xena's name, and that pushed Xena almost over the edge. It was so hard to control herself. She lost herself in the bard's body. Her free hand carressed the other breast. Than she gave the other breast the same attention. She kissed all around the nipple and gently moved her tongue over it. She took the breast into her mouth too, and carressed it with her teeth and her tongue. Gabrielle gasped and moaned deep. She twined her fingers in Xena's hair. Xena moved to lay on Gabrielle again. Her own breath coming in gasps, as she kissed Gabrielle again. Her free hand slid slowly down Gabrielle's body, until it came to rest between Gabrielles thighs.
Xena broke the kiss and looked Gabrielle deep in the eyes. Gabrielle just said.
Xena smiled and kissed her again. Never she loved someone so deeply like Gabrielle.
Slowly she parted Gabrielle's folds and felt the wetness between her fingers.
She groaned and went to kiss Gabrielle's neck as passion overwhelmed her. Slowly she starts to move her fingers over Gabrielle's clit. Gabrielle groaned loud as she felt Xena on her intimate place. Xena moved her fingers down until she felt Gabrielle's opening.
Still kissing her neck she slid her finger inside. Gabrielle exhaled loud and Xena stopped. With panic in her eyes she said.
"Did I hurt you? Should I stop?"
Gabrielle closed short her eyes and said.
"No. You would never hurt me, and don't even think about stopping."
Xena smiled and looked deep in her eyes as she started to move her fingers again. Sweat began to slid down Gabrielle's forehead. Also Xena was sweating. Her fingers moved faster in and out as she felt Gabrielle's climax coming. Gabrielle gripped hard on Xena's shoulders as she exploded. With a loud "Xena" she fell down to the ground. Xena removed her fingers and kissed her love again. Gabrielle felt Xena was on the edge too, and asked her.
"Tell me what to do."
Xena smiled at her and said.
"Raise your knee."
Gabrielle did as she was told. She could feel Xena's sex and then Xena pushed against her thigh. She felt her muscles tense, and then after some strokes Xena also climaxed.
She fell to Gabrielle's breast and breathing hard. After their breathing turned to normal, they both locked eyes. Xena said.
"I love you. You are my heart and my soul. I finally found my soulmate."
"I love you too my warrior princess, and my soulmate."
They kissed deeply again than Xena turned so that Gabrielle could lay her head on her shoulder. Xena gently stroked Gabrielle's arms with her fingertips.
Gabrielle mumbled "I love you". Then she fall asleep. Xena just smiled and kissed her on her forehead. She whispered.
"I love you."
Then she joined Gabrielle in her dreams.
After two hours sleep Xena awakened. She looked down to Gabrielle who was still sleeping with her head on Xena's shoulder. Xena smiled and held Gabrielle tighter.
Then she looked up in the sky.
"I think we have two more hours before the sun is rising."
Xena thought about it, and then she looked again at the sky, and thanked the Gods that they brought Gabrielle into her life. She kissed Gabrielle on her forehead and whispered in her ear.
"Gabrielle my love, it's time to move on. Get up."
Gabrielle shifted in Xena's arms so she could look in Xena's incredible blue eyes. She smiled and came closer so her face was just a breath away from Xena's.
"Yes. I know you're right. But I have to say I would love to stay here with you just a little longer."
With that she kissed Xena deeply. Xena put her hands on Gabrielle's back and trailed them up and down. Finally it was Xena who broke the kiss. Breathing hard she said.
"I would love to stay here with you too. But we have to help Perseus. And we have a long way to go."
Gabrielle sighed and got up, but not before she stole one last kiss from Xena. They dressed and then walked hand in hand back to their camp. Perseus was awake and waiting for Xena and Gabrielle. He had broken the camp and stomped out the fire. As he saw them both walking hand in hand he smiled.
"Here you two are. I was worried sick. I thought you would never return. Seems you both had a lot to talk about."
And he smiled as brightly as the sun. Xena and Gabrielle smiled back. Xena finally said.
"It's time to move on. There is a long way before us. Do we have torches?"
"Good. So let's go."
Xena said and our three friends were on the road again.
Gabrielle had the feeling that the way back was more tiring. Her feet were like lead and every step was extremely difficult. But she pulled herself together and walked fast. She looked at Perseus, who seemed to be in his own thoughts. Then she looked at Xena who led them. Argo trotted behind her. To think about something other than her feet, Gabrielle let her thoughts return to the three Grey's instructions.
"You have to go to the three Nymphs, to get the shield and the sword. But the nymphs are very shy, and if there is danger they became invisible."
`How should we manage the impossible`, Gabrielle thought, and decided to ask Xena about it. So she urged her tired legs on to go to Xena. After she walked beside her she asked Xena.
"How can we manage to get to the three nymphs, if they can be invisible and they are very shy you know? I'm sure we can't go to them. You know we have weapons, and I think they will interpret it as danger. What can we do?"
Xena thought shortly about it. Then she laid her arm around Gabrielle's waist and pulled her closer.
"If they see us as danger, we have to convince them the opposite. Nymphs are living in the water, and in the north is only one big lake. So I think it won't be difficult to find them. And the talking part I leave to you. You are well trained in that."
"Yeah. That's a good idea. But what about Perseus? His patience is near the end. I hope he wouldn't do anything bad if we find the nymphs so we will never get the weapons."
Xena raised her eyebrow then stopped. She put the reins in Gabrielle's hands and kissed her.
"I will talk to him. Go ahead, I will finish the rest."
Gabrielle smiled and went on. Xena turned and went to Perseus. To take him from his thoughts, Xena laid a hand on his shoulder and shook him.
"Perseus, can I talk to you?"
Perseus looked up.
"Of course you can talk to me. What's up?"
Xena took her hand from his shoulder and said.
"Tomorrow evening we will be by the nymphs. I am asking you for something. I know your nerves are very tense and that you want to return to Athens as soon as you can. We all want that. But we can only do this if we work together. If we find the nymphs, Gabrielle is the one who will talk. The nymphs are very shy, and they need someone they can trust. So please stay out of this and leave everything to Gabrielle. All right?"
Perseus tried to say something, but he saw that Xena was right, so he closed his mouth and just nodded. Xena smiled at him, and then she went to Gabrielle who was standing with her back to Xena. Xena brushed Gabrielle's hair away and kissed her neck. Gabrielle smiled.
"So I guess everything went fine."
Xena smiled and took the reins from Gabrielles hands and started to walk.
"Yes. He saw that it is the best if you talk."
Gabrielle nodded and so they went on their way. After a while Xena saw that Gabrielle was really pale. She began to be worried. She laid a hand on her shoulder and said.
"Love, is everything all right with you?"
Gabrielle knew she couldn't lie to Xena.
"To be honest, no. I'm a little exhausted and tired. But I don't care. I know we have to travel the whole night through to get to the nymphs as soon as possible. It will be all right."
Xena knew that Gabrielle couldn't take much more. She stopped and so did Gabrielle. Xena took Gabrielle in her arms and kissed her. As Gabrielle broke the kiss she asked.
"What was that for?"
"I'm proud of you my love. I know you are very exhausted but you want to go on. You care more for others then for yourself. But now I want you to get on Argo and ride for a while. And there is no arguing, you got that?"
The tone in Xena's voice left no place for arguing. So Gabrielle nodded and let Xena help her to get on the horse. To be honest, Gabrielle was happy that she didn't have to walk for a while. Xena pulled on the reins and Argo moved on. So Gabrielle was on Argo for half the day. There were only stops for eating or to rest for a short time. As the sun set, our three friends rested for a few hours. Xena felt that even she was a little exhausted. But she couldn't show any weakness. Perseus was counting on her and on her strenghth. So she mobilized her last bit of energy. After two hours sleep, she woke the others and they went on again.
For the rest of the night, and the next day there were no problems in sight. Gabrielle traded places on Argo with Perseus, after she had a terrible pain in her butt. After Perseus had enough Xena took her place on Argo and so they went on for the whole day. They didn't speak very much. All three were in their own thoughts about what was coming next.
The way north was little bit longer than Xena had expected. So they spent the whole night walking again.
Before the sun began to rise our three friends could see the big lake Xena had talked about. Happy that they found it, Gabrielle jumped down from Argo and rubbed her butt.
"Gods Xena, how can you do that riding thing all day?"
Xena had to supress a laugh and the answer she wanted to give Gabrielle. So she just came close enough to Gabrielle's ear and said.
"I guess tonight I have to lay on the ground."
Gabrielle flushed and smiled. But she couldn't say anything. Xena kissed her on her temple and turned to Perseus.
"It would be better if we wait until the sun is completely up, so we can see much better. So we will take a little rest and eat something. What do you think about that?"
Before Perseus could answer, Gabrielle said.
"That is a great idea. But first I want to refresh a little. So will you please excuse me, I want to go down to the lake. I'll be back soon."
She turned to Xena and gave her a quick kiss on the mouth.
"I promise to be careful. I love you warrior."
Xena smiled and gave her a kiss back.
"I love you too, my bard."
And in her mind she thought.`How could this woman know me so well?`
Perseus in the meantime had collected some firewood, and laid it on a rock. Xena erected a little fireplace and circuled it with some stones. After that she put the wood in the ring and with her firestone got a little fire was burning. Soon, she placed a rabbit she had caught two days ago over the fire. Then Xena sat down near Perseus and they sharpened their swords and talked about old times.
In the meantime, Gabrielle undressed and swam in the lake. The water was wonderfully warm and Gabrielle loved to swim in the warm water. Suddenly she realized there was a movement under her. First she was shocked but then her curiosity took over. She swam behind the shadow to a waterfall which filled the lake with water. The shadow didn't realize Gabrielle's presence. Then the shadow broke the surface and a wonderful woman stood before Gabrielle. Her skin was white like milk and soft like peaches, her eyes were blue like Xena's and her hair brown like colour of a tree. Her lips were red like blood. Gabrielle knew it had to be one of the nymphs. She had heard a lot of the beauties that turned every man in a state of insanity. The nymph stepped out of the water to go on land as Gabrielle swam nearer to her and just said one word.
The nymph tuned around and a scream escaped her throat. And suddenly the nymph wasn't there. Just like she never existed. Gabrielle became frightened at first and then she wondered. How could it be that she was gone so fast? So it must be true that they are very shy.
"All right. So I will take it slow."
Gabrielle stepped out of the water too. She sat down on a stone and waited. She decided it would be better if she didn't say a word first. After some minutes she heard something move behind her. She didn't turn around. It couldn't be Xena or Perseus, because Gabrielle knew their steps. So it have to be one of the nymphs. Suddenly the steps fell silent. Gabrielle knew she had been watched. Without turning around she said.
"My name is Gabrielle, I don't want to attack you. I know I penetrate in your empire, and I want you to excuse me for this."
The nymph didn't move. Gabrielle continued.
"I would love it to talk to you. I heard a lot from the nymphs. You know I'm a bard, and I would like to tell a story about you later. But it is easier for me to talk face to face. So if you don't mind, please sit down beside me."
This time Gabrielle said nothing. She waited for the reaction of the nymph. A minute went by. Gabrielle thought that the nymph was going away, as she heard steps behind her. Gabrielle sat, and didn't turn around. The nymph came nearer and suddenly she sat beside Gabrielle on the rock. Now Gabrielle turned to the nymph and smiled. The nymph smiled back and said.
"My name is Melite. It's nice to meet someone who doesn't want to attack us. You know, we nymphs are very sociable and good-natured. But in the last years, many bad man came to steal our treasures. Many of us were killed, because we live here without violence. We don't have weapons, and we don't know how to defend ourselves. All we could do is to be invisible. Since so many of us were killed, we live very quietly and we became very shy. I'm sorry I was so restrained before."
Gabrielle shook her head.
"You don't have to be sorry. I understand that you have a little mistrust against human beings. But I'm happy that we understand us well. So your name is Melite. Do you live alone here?"
This time Melite shooked her head.
"No, I have two sisters here. They live behind the waterfall. Their names are Eulimene and Agaue. Are you alone here?"
"No, I'm here with two friends. Their names are Xena and Perseus."
"Xena, the mighty warrior princess? Destroyer of nations? We heard a lot about her. We never thought that she would have friends."
Gabrielle looked Melite in the eyes.
"Melite, Xena has changed. Now she is fighting for the greater good."
Melite nodded and continued.
"And what about Perseus? Isn't he a son of Zeus?"
"Yes. That's true. He is a son of Zeus. But he doesn't have superhuman powers. Xena and I are traveling with him to help in with his task."
Gabrielle thought to herself that she have to try to awaken the curiosity of Melite. And it worked.
Gabrielle breathed deeply and began to tell the story to Melite. About the monster who wanted to destroy Athens, about Andromeda and about the three grey's and what they told them about the nymphs. After she had finished the story she looked at Melite. She had tears in her eyes.
"What a sad story. And it's true, we have a sword and a shield which should help Perseus. And we have something else. I will try to help you. Because brave human beings like you, who want to fight against Medusa, to save a whole town and to save the love of Perseus must be helped. Wait here for me. I'll be back soon."
With this words Melite went away. Short after that Xena came to Gabrielle. She heard everything Gabrielle and Melite talked. She sat beside Gabrielle and took her face in her hands and kissed her deeply. After she broke the kiss she said.
"I'm really proud of you, my love."
Xena smiled, and Gabrielle smiled back. She took Xena's hand in her own. Their fingers intwined.
"I just did the best I could"
Xena laughed out loud.
"Yes. You are right. I wouldn't have been so good like you. But I think it's better I leave before Melite returns. We'll see you at the camp. The rabbit is ready for eating."
With that she kissed Gabrielle on her forehead and went away. After ten minutes Melite returned. In one hand she held the Sword and the shield and in the other a halter. She walked to Gabrielle and gave her the weapons.
"This is a sword and a shield made from Hephaistos. It is from a metal you human beings don't know. I wish you good luck with this."
Gabrielle said thanks. After that she looked down at the halter.
"What's the halter for?"
Melite looked down at the halter and said.
"Well. You told me you're in a hurry. We have something here that will take you faster to Medusa. Come with me. By the way, how much time is left?"
"Seven days now. But I heard it is very far to Medusa."
"Yes that's right. But as I said, I have something here that will help you."
With this words she walked to the forest. Gabrielle followed her. After minutes Melite started to whistle. It sounded like a bait. On a clear spot they stopped.
"Gabrielle look at the sky, because you will see something wonderful soon."
Gabrielle did as she was told and looked up. First she didn't see anything and than she saw the most wonderful creature who ever walked the earth. A horse white like snow, and with wings white as snow too. Gabrielle couldn't believe what she saw so she pinched herself on her arm. But she could feel the pain so she had to be awake. The horse seemed to float above the sky. Very slowly and with an incredible grace it came down to earth. In front of Melite it stopped. Melite placed the halter on the horse and spoke to Gabrielle.
"This is Pegasus the flying horse. He is faster as the wind. He will bring you to Medusa in one day. You wouldn't do it without him. You just have to tell him where you want to go, and he will bring you immediately to the place. He understands every word. Take him. But promise me one thing, Gabrielle."
"If you return from Medusa, and fight against the monster, give me all back. Because my sisters became very angry about me. You promise me that? It would be good if you left something here as insurance."
Gabrielle thought about it.
"Of course you will get all back. And what could I leave here? Yeah, I know. Xena has a horse, she likes her very much, and she doesn't like to leave her behind. If you promise to take good care of her, I will leave her with you. I have to talk to Xena first, but I think she will agree."
Melite nodded and gave Pegasus to Gabrielle.
"I will wait here until you bring me the horse of your friend."
Gabrielle said thanks again, and walked in the direction of the camp. Xena waited impatiently for Gabrielle. Perseus was too exhausted and fell asleep. As she saw Gabrielle with the weapons and the horse, she wondered. Xena ran to Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle, you did it. And who is your friend?"
"Xena meet Pegasus the flying horse. He is faster than the wind. He can bring us in one day's ride to Medusa. So we could make it ,Xena."
Xena smiled and kissed Gabrielle.
"I'm really proud of you."
Gabrielle swallowed hard and with her hand she stroked nervously on her hair.
"Xena, that thing has just one hook."
Xena stepped back and lifted her eyebrow.
"And what could that be?"
Gabrielle swallowed again.
"Well, they want insurance, because they gave us the weapons and Pegasus. And I promised them to give them Argo."
Xena opened her mouth to say something, but Gabrielle continued with a husky voice.
"Xena, they promised to take good care of Argo. She will love it. And besides we don't have a place for her here. We have to ride on Pegasus. And he is flying. And I never saw Argo flying. So why shouldn't we leave her here. The nymphs are good natured creatures."
Xena put her lips in a grim line. She didn't hate anything more than to leave her horse alone. But Gabrielle was right.
"All right Gabrielle. But the next time I want to be asked, you got that?"
Gabrielle nodded. Then she smiled and kissed Xena quickly.
"Yes. It will never happen again. Xena, Melite is waiting for me and Argo. Can I take her with me?"
Xena breathed deeply. Then she said with a smile on her face.
"You know, you will pay for that!"
Then she went to her mare and spoke something in her ear. She patted her on her neck and then took her reins and went to Gabrielle.
"Here, take her. But if something happend to her while I'm gone I will kill them."
Gabrielle thanked Xena. She gave her the reins of Pegasus and then took the reins of Argo. Together with Argo she went back to Melite. She was still waiting for Gabrielle.
Gabrielle thanked Melite again for her help and gave her the reins. She looked after Melite and Argo until they were disappeared in the forest.
"Argo is really good. I'm not used to it, that she goes with a stranger."
After some minutes she returned to Perseus and Xena. Perseus was still asleep. Gabrielle felt very tired too. She looked to Xena and spoke.
"Xena, after we have Pegasus, can we sleep a little bit longer than two hours? I'm really tired."
"Yes. You are right. You deserve it. Lay down, I will wake you up. And to be honest. I'm really tired too."
Happy to hear those words, Gabrielle went to her bedroll and lay down. But before she could fall asleep, she felt something coming behind her. It was Xena. She lifted the bedroll and lay down behind Gabrielle. Her hand glided across Gabrielles abdomen to her breast. Xena leaned over and kissed her way from Gabrielle's neck to her ear.
"I said to you, you will pay for the thing with Argo. And now you will pay."
Gabrielle smiled and turned around. She looked deep in the blue eyes from Xena she wanted to see for the rest of her life. She lifted her arm and pulled Xena on top of her.
Xena came closer with her face, until their faces was just inches apart.
"Do you know, how much I love you?"
Gabrielle didn't say anything. She just pulled Xena close to kiss her. Slowly she traced the outline of Xena's mouth with her tongue before she softly put it in Xena's mouth. Xena moaned at the contact and started to deepen the kiss. She broke the kiss suddenly as she felt no response. She looked down at Gabrielle, who had fallen asleep. She was too exhausted. Xena smiled and rolled down from Gabrielle. She lay beside her again, and laid her hand around her stomach.
"Maybe it is better so. Perseus is near and we need our strenghth. But you will pay for it Gabrielle. I love you, my bard."
With this she fall asleep immediately.
Perseus and Xena were still asleep, as Gabrielle awoke. She rubbed her eyes and turned her head from side to side to make her stiffened bones supple again. After that she turned her eyes to Xena, and then she noticed that Xena was still asleep. She had to look twice to believe it.
"Xena has to be very exhausted, if she sleeps longer than me. And then she wanted to make love to me yesterday."
Gabrielle decided to let Xena and Perseus sleep, so she gave Xena a little kiss on her forehead and stood up. But when she tried to make a step, a pain traveled through her leg. She rubbed with her hand the spot that ached.
"I think I am mightily stiff."
But Gabrielle decided to go. After three, four steps the pain lessened. Gabrielle went to Pegasus who was standing grazing on a clear spot. As he saw Gabrielle he whinnied and trotted to Gabrielle. Gabrielle was afraid that Pegasus would run her through, but he stopped directly in front of her. Gabrielle smiled and stroked Pegasus' forehead. He seemed to like it, because he closed his eyes and his head came down so Gabrielle could stroke him better.
"You are really a good horse, Pegasus. I really hope that you can help us."
She stroked Pegasus one time more before she heard something moving in the camp.
"I think Xena is awake. It is better if I go to her."
Pegasus seemed to understand, because he nodded with his head and went back to where he was grazing. Gabrielle shook her head.
"It can't be. Melite was right. He understands every word."
She stood there a little longer, then she heard a familiar voice.
"Gabrielle, where are you?"
You could hear Xena's voice throught the thickest forest. Gabrielle rolled her eyes and went back to the camp.
Xena had made some tea, and the rabbit from yesterday was hanging above the fire again. Perseus went to the lake to refresh a little. As Gabrielle arrived in the camp, Xena put some tea in three wooden mugs.
"Mmh, the tea and the rabbit are smelling good."
Xena smiled, and placing her hand on Gabrielle's wrist, she pulled her in for a deep kiss. After they broke apart, Xena handed Gabrielle a mug and some rabbit.
"Here you go. By the way, where were you?"
Gabrielle breathed deeply. She knew Xena wouldn't be quiet until she had an answer from her. Gabrielle sat down beside Xena, looked her straight in the eye, and kissed her.
"I was with Pegasus to look after him."
Xena nodded shortly. She was satisfied with the answer. She took a sip from her tea and looked to the sky.
"Now it seems we have great weather today for a flight. I hope you are free from dizziness."
A bright smile came to Xena's lips. She had to bite hard on her lip to surpress a laugh. Gabrielle looked Xena deeply in her eyes and made a face.
"Ha, ha. Very funny."
Xena saw the dark expression on Gabrielle's face and suddenly she started to laugh. Tears start to rise in her eyes and she had to held her belly with her hands. Gabrielle tried to be angry, but there was no way she could stay that way. She tried to surpress a laugh, but she noticed how her smile became a laugh. She placed her mug on the ground and sat down on Xena's lap. Xena put her hands on Gabrielle's waist and tried to stop laughing, but she couldn't. Between laughes she said.
"Oh. Gabrielle, you had to see your face. Your expression was priceless."
Gabrielle laughed again. It was so rare she saw Xena laugh. After some time Xena had control again, and she stopped laughing. She looked into Gabrielle's eyes and her hands wandered to her back.
"Gabrielle, I love you so much."
Gabrielle smiled and put her hands on Xena's neck.
"I love you too. Why were we so stupid and surpressed our feelings for so long?"
"I don't know. But I'm glad that we don't have to surpress them any longer. Come here."
With that she pulled Gabrielle close for a kiss. Gabrielle opened her mouth to allow Xena access into her mouth. They explored each other's mouth. Gabrielle moaned. And they deepened the kiss if that was possible. Gabrielle's hands left the place on Xena's neck and wandered down to Xena's arm. They kissed until Perseus returned from the lake. They broke the kiss but not the embrace. As Perseus took the mug with the tea he asked.
"Well, I heard you two laughing. What did I miss? Something important?"
Gabrielle and Xena were smiling.
"You didn't miss anything important. Just a joke between Gabrielle and me."
Perseus nodded and took another swallow from his tea. Than he turned to Xena.
"Xena, when do you want to break up the camp and leave?"
Xena took a sip from her tea, and answered.
"Well, I want to break the camp right after breakfast. I want to leave Medusa behind us as fast as we can. There are only six and a half days left."
Perseus and Gabrielle nodded. Gabrielle took another bite of the rabbit.
"Yes, you are right. Until we are by Medusa one day is gone. So there are only five and a half day left. Until we have the head of Medusa and are back in Athens two day's will pass. So there are only three and a half days left. That should be enough to take the precautions we need, what do you think?"
Xena looked up in Gabrielle's eyes and then to Perseus.
"Huh, I think you're right."
Gabrielle smiled cynically.
"Yeah, I know. So we are eating now, and than we will go on."
Perseus and Xena nodded again. Gabrielle left the place on Xena's lap so Xena could concentrate more on eating than touching Gabrielle. After they had finished eating they broke the camp. Then they went to Pegasus, and all three had the same thought.
"How will it be to ride on a flying horse?"
Gabrielle noticed a funny feeling in her stomach when she was just thinking about the ride. So she used the pressure point Xena had shown her on Cycrops' ship. And immediately she was feeling better. As Perseus, Xena and Gabrielle reached the clear spot where Pegasus had been standing, they noticed he wasn't there anymore.
Xena started to curse as she heard a whistle right behind her. It was Gabrielle. Xena looked at her with raised eyebrows. Gabrielle just looked at her and then looked up in the sky. Xena and Perseus followed her lead and looked also up. After some seconds they saw the wonder with their own eyes. Pegasus was flying down and stopped in front of Gabrielle. Gabrielle stroked Pegasus's neck and said.
"Well, go on. Up with you both."
Again Perseus and Xena looked at each other. Xena was wondering why Gabrielle wanted to ride on a horse voluntarily. But then she thought it was just curiosity. So she jumped up on Pegasus' back and helped Gabrielle and Persus to get up, too. Xena whispered in Pegasus' ear.
"Take us to Medusa, as fast as you can."
Pegasus whinied and start to stroke his wings. After that he started to gallop and suddenly our three friends were up in the air. Xena and Perseus couldn't believe it. They were really flying, and the world looked so beautiful from high above. Xena wondered why Gabrielle didn't say a word and turned to face her. Then she saw the reason.
"Gabrielle, take your hands from your eyes. Look at this beautiful view."
Gabrielle took her hands slowly from her eyes and looked around. Suddenly she wrapped her arms around her warrior. Her face was pale. Xena kissed her lightly on her lips.
"What's up my love? Don't you feel good?"
Gabrielle wrapped herself tighter around Xena, so Xena felt a little pain. Gabrielle just spoke one word.
Xena raised her eyebrows.
Gabrielle took one hand from Xena's waist and with a trembling hand she pointed down.
"Gods, is this high!"
Xena laughed out loud. Perseus who noticed this, laughed too. After Xena had herself in control again, she tried to calm down Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle, nothing can happen. Pegasus is flying very smoothly. I'm here with you. If you want you can hold on to me. But not so tightly."
Gabrielle took a deep breath and eased the grip. Than she looked down very slowly. At first she felt an amazing nausea, but she couldn't stop to look down. Somehow it was amazing. And the nausea was getting better. And after sometime it was over with it. And then she enjoyed the view. But she never lost the grip around Xena's waist. Perseus was amazed too, so for sometime he didn't thought about Andromeda.
After they had flown for a half day, Perseus was curious of how long the flight would take. He shook Gabrielle's shoulder.
"Gabrielle, do you know how far it is now?"
"Well, I think about a half's day ride. I've heard that Medusa is living in a cave. So we have to go by foot for a while, too."
Xena heard the talk between Gabrielle and Perseus and interrupted.
"That isn't the worst. If we have to go in the cave than we are really in trouble."
Gabrielle and Persues turned to Xena. Perseus turned his head to one side so he could see Xena better.
"Well, the legends say that Medusa has two sisters. They are immortal. Only Medusa can be killed, but only with the weapons from Hephaistos. Also they say that the three are identical, like triplets. So it will be very difficult to find the right one."
"Xena, you have the skill to give someone courage."
Xena laid a hand on Gabrielle's thigh and gave her a peck on her lips.
"We will get through this."
Gabrielle smiled. Xena smiled also and looked up in the sky. And then her smile vanished. Clouds, dark as a crow were rising, and it seems that in a short time a storm is coming.
"Perseus, Gabrielle, it seems that we will have a heavy storm. I think it is the best if we fly as long as possible. If the rain is too heavy we can land. All right?"
Perseus and Gabrielle nodded. But they couldn't fly long. Suddenly the storm began, and Pegasus had big trouble flying. Gabrielle wrapped her arms very tightly around Xena so she felt the pain start again in her waist. Perseus wrapped his arms around Gabrielle. He prayed to the gods, that they would be unhurt from the storm. As the storm became a little lighter, the unexpected happened. A lightning bolt came from the sky and shot through Pegasus' left wing. Pegasus whinied because he was scared, and lost his balance. Gabrielle and Perseus were screaming, and Xena felt scared to death, too. She wrapped her arms around Pegasus' neck and screamed.
"Pegasus, try landing as fast as you can."
Pegasus whinied again and tried to land. But he couldn't do anything with his left wing.
The pain was too strong. He flew with a mad speed to the earth. Xena, Gabrielle and Perseus thought that this would be their end, as Pegasus, with the last of his power stroked with his left wing and made the landing not so powerful. But our three friends were catapulted from Pegasus' back to the earth. Then Pegasus just fell down. After that you could hear nothing. Even the storm seemed to be quiet. Perseus and Gabrielle were unconscious. Only Xena was conscious. She stood up and went first to Gabrielle. She turned Gabrielle on her back and laid a hand on her neck to feel the pulse. She breathed deeply as she noticed that Gabrielle was living. She sat down, and pulled Gabrielle on her lap. Then she kissed her gently.
"Gabrielle, my love wake up."
Gabrielle opened her eyes slowly. At first she saw only haze, but after a second she saw everything normally. She looked directly into Xena's blue eyes.
"Oh, gods. What happened?"
"A lightning bolt hit Pegasus' left wing and we fell from the sky. I want you to take care of Perseus, while I look after Pegasus."
Xena helped Gabrielle up. Xena felt Gabrielle trembling a little and started to be worried.
"Gabrielle, are you all right?"
"Yes Xena, I'm fine. Really. Stop raising your eyebrow."
Xena smiled and released Gabrielle. Gabrielle went to Perseus and turned him around, too. Then she shook him on his shoulder.
"Persues, everything all right? Wake up."
Perseus opened his eyes.
"Gods, am I in the Elysian fields or in Tartarus?"
"Neither. You are among the living. We just crashed down."
"My head is hurting terribly."
"Well, we don't have herbs to heal that, so I guess you have to live with it."
Perseus grunted and stroked his head.
In the meantime Xena ran to Pegasus. He was lying on the ground. Xena tried to to pull him up, but he was too heavy. Gabrielle and Perseus were gotten there to help Xena if she needed some help. Perseus went to Xena and looked at Pegasus' wing.
"Xena, how does it look? Is it serious?"
Xena looked at Gabrielle and then to Perseus.
"No, it is just sprained. But he can't fly for the next two days."
Gabrielle and Perseus swallowed. That means time is getting shorter. Perseus looked very sad. He thought about Andromeda and that they wouldn't make it. Gabrielle noticed his sadness and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Perseus, we will do anything to make it. I promise."
Perseus nodded, but he had big doubts. Xena bound Pegasus' wounds as best she could. After that Pegasus raised and pushed his nose in Xena's back as if he wanted to thank Xena for her help. Xena stroked his nose as the rain suddenly started again, much more heavy than before. The rain was so strong so that our three friends couldn't see the way in front of them.
"We have to look for a shelter."
Xena screamed through the storm.Gabrielle and Perseus screamed back that they agreed with Xena, and together our three friends moved on.
After an half hour Xena, Gabrielle and Perseus arrived at a cave big enough for all of them. Totally drenched they entered the cave and found enough dry wood to start a fire. One after another stepped to a dark edge of the cave to change the wet clothes. After everyone was wrapped in a blanket, Gabrielle put something out to eat. She put everything on a plate and then all three were eating. After Perseus was finished, he set the plate down and looked to the exit of the cave.
"I think the storm will hold for the night. I think it is better if we stay here. Even if it is the last I will do."
Xena looked to Perseus.
"I know how you're feeling. I would like to move on, too. But as you saw the storm is too strong. We have to wait. But when the storm is over, we will move on. At first we will walk, and when Pegasus' left wing is better, we will fly."
They spent the rest of the day talking and playing games. As it was getting late, Gabrielle yawned terribly.
"I think I will go to bed. I'm really tired. Good night everyone."
She turned to Xena who was sitting on a stone. She bowed her head and kissed Xena deeply. As she broke apart she said.
"I hope you will come to bed soon. I hate to sleep alone."
Xena gave her a little peck on the mouth.
"Yes I will."
Perseus wished Gabrielle a good night. Then he and Xena talked about the good old times again, until Perseus was very tired too.
"I guess I'm going to bed, too. Good night, Xena."
"Good night Perseus."
Xena went to Pegasus again and looked after his left wing. After that she decided to go to sleep too. So she stepped behind Gabrielle and lifted her blanket. Gabrielle wasn't asleep so she waited until Xena was laying behind her.
"I thought you would never come to bed."
"Well, if you are laying in the bed I will always come."
Gabrielle turned her head and looked in the most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen.
"I love you, my warrior."
Xena came nearer to Gabrielle's face, until their faces were just inches apart.
"I love you, my bard."
And than she kissed Gabrielle with a tenderness she never felt before. Slowly she pushed her tongue inside Gabrielle's mouth and the kiss deepened. As they broke apart, they had to catch their breaths. They kissed again, and then Gabrielle laid her head on Xena's chest and was quickly falling asleep. Xena was lying awake for quite a while, thinking how they could find out which one was the real Medusa. But then sleep took over and she fell asleep, too.
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